The occasional sore back can be treated with anti-inflammatories and an ice pack, but when your back pain grows more intense and frequent, it's time to look into serious treatment options for back pain relief. Luckily, for most back pain sufferers, relief can be experienced without surgery. Here are a few of the most effective non-surgical treatment options for your back pain:
Visit a Chiropractor
Chiropractic care works by having a trained chiropractor gently manipulate your spine into its proper position. Over time, injuries, sitting in a desk chair all day, or sleeping on the wrong mattress can all lead to your spine shifting slightly out of position. This can lead to inflammation and pain, which may eventually spread from your back to your shoulders, neck, and even your legs.
Chiropractic care can leave your body in better alignment, allowing it to heal. Chiropractic care often works in a complementary way to other forms of alternative medicine, including acupuncture and massage, giving you more flexibility when creating a treatment plan. In fact, many chiropractic offices offer massage and other services right in their office.
Cryotherapy has been popular with celebrities for years, and is now gaining popularity in cities across the country. Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to reduce inflammation and stimulate your body to produce natural pain-relievers like endorphins. When you go to a cryotherapy center, you step into a chamber where you are briefly exposed to sub-freezing temperatures.
Because you only spend a few brief minutes in the cryotherapy chamber, and because the cold comes from a special form of dry ice with no humidity, most people find it is much more comfortable than they were anticipating. Afterward, your back should feel better, your skin should be glowing, and you may even find your mood is improved.
Acupuncture is thought to work by stimulating your brain and body to release endorphins, a natural anti-inflammatory response, and promote immune system function and healing. When you get acupuncture for the first time, your practitioner will evaluate your symptoms and propose a treatment plan that may include other forms of alternative medicine such as Chinese herbs and massage.
They will then place tiny, painless needles into trigger points along your spine and possibly your extremities as well. Many people experience pain relief after one session, though for chronic back pain it is ideal to receive regular treatments.
Get Therapeutic Massage
When combined with other treatment options, getting a therapeutic massage on a regular basis can alleviate back pain without the need for drugs. Since you are interested specifically in back pain relief, this is not the time to visit a spa. Rather, find a massage therapist with a background in therapeutic pain relief or sports massage, to ensure they understand how back pain works and how to give a massage that makes you feel better instead of leaving your back more sore than before.
Consider Physical Therapy
One of the best things your doctor or chiropractor can do for your back pain is refer you to a physical therapist. A physical therapist will evaluate your pain as well as your back and core strength, your flexibility, and your range of motion. They will then design a series of exercises you can do with them, and eventually at home on a daily basis. These exercises will stretch out your back and hips, providing pain relief.
They will also strengthen your core and glutes, alleviating some of the pressure on your back. Over time, this can alleviate back pain and prevent it from worsening or returning.
Working closely with your doctor, you should be able to determine a combination of these treatment options that will help you find relief from your persistent back pain, without the need for major surgery.